Trade Review Restores Glimmer Of Light To US-China Relations

THE POSTPONED FIRST biannual high-level progress review of the US-China Phase One Trade Deal signed in January has been held. Vice Premier Liu He and US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer convened by video conference today (Monday evening in Washington), a little over a week late.

The subsequent public pronouncements were terse, ‘name, rank and serial number’ affairs that gave little away beyond agenda items to be expected:

The parties addressed steps that China has taken to effectuate structural changes called for by the Agreement that will ensure greater protection for intellectual property rights, remove impediments to American companies in the areas of financial services and agriculture, and eliminate forced technology transfer.

The four-sentence statement issued by Lighthizer’s office concluded:

Both sides see progress and are committed to taking the steps necessary to ensure the success of the Agreement.

That is about as diplomatically anodyne as you can get, but it seemed positively Pollyannaish given the overall dismal state of relations between the two countries.

Beyond the necessary box-ticking on the market access issues, there were indications of large purchases of US agricultural products and energy to come as China’s is behind the pace in meeting the deal’s ambitious target of importing by end-2021 an additional $200 billion worth of US goods above 2017’s levels.

No public mention of any discussion on the far more contentious issues around Huawei, TikTok and WeChat, however.

1 Comment

Filed under China-U.S., Trade

One response to “Trade Review Restores Glimmer Of Light To US-China Relations

  1. Pingback: China’s Trade Gets Ahead Of The Economy | China Bystander

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